Luke 17:1 “…It is impossible that no offenses should come…”
“That offended me.” What an overused phrase by Christians all over the world! When it is said, somehow, we are supposed to excuse the person for being offended. There’s a reason, so being offended is all right. Oh how “not all right” it is to be offended! It seems to me that a large number of Christians are blind to the fact that they are living in a continuous state of offense. Their pain justifies their feelings and allows for them to remain angry. Often, the offense is caused by fellow Christians, loved ones, family, and this makes the offense even more difficult to overcome.
Psalm 55:12-14 “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it the one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.”
Only those you care about can hurt you, true? You have given your heart to them and you expect them to care for you – but the higher your expectations of the relationship, the greater the fall when the offense comes.
Satan successfully keeps people in an offended state by keeping their offense hidden, covered in pride. Pride hinders a person from admitting their condition.
There was a time that I was offended by what was said by other Christians about my husband and me. Those comments went deep into my soul and my husband, knowing how deeply I was hurt, would often ask if I was all right; if I had forgiven those people. I would say, “of course I have!” I said this because I knew it was wrong not to forgive. I even told myself I was fine and didn’t hold a grudge or offense. I was too proud to admit that I had an offense. Pride opens our hearts to an offense and pride then keeps an offense hidden in our hearts.
To break free from being deceived is to come to an understanding our offended feelings and do as Jesus said in Revelation 3:18 “buy from Me gold refined in the fire.” Gold from the fire is pure and soft. Gold is only hard when other metals are added to it to keep it from bending. In the same way, we are refined in God’s school of life. The heat, the tribulations of life, separates impurities such as unforgiveness, strife and offense from God’s life and character in our lives. In the fire, the impurities rise to the top and are skimmed off. God wants our hearts to be like pure gold, soft and easy to bend.
As Jesus said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come.” Opportunity to be offended will come, perhaps even today. The question is, what will we do when offense comes knocking?